I've never watched any of those Psycho sequels, but that's a great line.
It popped in my head this morning because writing a book is a little like being possessed. Not in a murderous "my dead mom's telling me to kill people" kind of way, but close. (Although I suppose if you're Stephen King, it's exactly like that.)
The thing is, it takes so much focus and concentration to keep those characters in character and not lose them. Or get them mixed up with your own character. Or another character. And I've got the worst memory. Seriously.
Last fall when I was working on Debut Novel, I went in the cave for two weeks. I didn't leave the house, didn't socialize. I just thought about the book and the plot and the characters and what they'd do next and why and what would happen next to get them where they needed to be. And why...
I took care of the kids, finished my paying gigs as fast as possible, and then hit the laptop. I'd be up in the middle of the night writing. I had to! A scene or situation of dialogue would come to me, and if I didn't stop (or get up) and write it down, it'd be gone by morning.
I finally had to tell Richard what I was doing when he made some crack about me having an online affair.
Uh... no. Sorry. Nothing that exciting or potentially destructive. Just writing a book over here.
Richard has also said I have a touch of OCD. His proof is that I'll be typing on the computer while he's talking to me and I can completely block out his voice. I've told him. He really talks a lot...
So I did it. I wrote this book from about Sept.-Oct. of last year. Then I got to the point in the story where there had to be a reason two of the main characters were keeping this Big Secret, so I sat down and wrote a sequel/prequel to Debut Novel.
That just happened. I wasn't really planning to write a sequel/prequel.
Then I went back and polished polished polished Debut Novel and started sending it out. Then I started finding links like this and had an episode of mini-depression: http://bit.ly/cRH4Ab.
Then I started getting requests from agents to see DN, and I got over it. It just might happen after all...
All this time I was thinking that that was it. I'd done it. I'd written two and a half books, I was working my tail off to get one published with the hopes that people would like it so much, I'd finish out the series, and that was it. That was all I had.
I seriously couldn't imagine coming up with another story line or another set of characters or another situation or anything like that. I don't really remember how I even came up with the first one.
I mean, I can sit around and think of a lot of incidents and conversations that led me to the point of having enough stuff in my head to fill a book. A few books even. But an actual inciting incident? ...
And then last week I was sitting around, minding my own business and I thought of this girl getting hit in her car. She's sitting at a redlight, minding her own business and WHAM-O, somebody plows into her back end.
She isn't hurt, but now there's this person in her life she didn't know, didn't ask to know, that she's having to deal with. Her life's been changed and it doesn't stop there. Things are going on in her home, in her small hometown, etc.
And I'm down the rabbit hole again.
I let Richard read the first 30 pages last night, and he's diggin it. I have an idea where this is going, but it's a little scary to me. I'm not convinced I'm brave enough to follow these characters where they're headed. I'm not sure if I'm a skilled enough novelist yet to show how much they really do care about each other. (Aspiring novelist.) They're about to be hit with some tough, painful decisions...
Richard says, "Keep writing."
So I guess I have to. More soon~